What’s Wrong With Me?

The other day my dad, in response to a question I asked him, said, “Oh, do you feel like you have to keep up with Kim?”

I was like, “Dad, you mean keeping up with the Kardashians?”

He said, “No, Jean Kim. Your best friend, you know she’s getting married.”

Jean, my beautiful 25 year old best friend is getting married in 2016! That is absolutely insane but in a good way.  I’m so happy for her! Her and her fiancee are the absolute couple, the details I’ll save for my MOH speech.  But the fact that my dad knew I was thinking about keeping up with the timing of my best friend & peers is what I want to touch upon.

I don’t know what the average age is of people are getting married now. I don’t know what the average length of people staying at their jobs is.  I don’t know if it’s better to follow passion or a paycheck.  It is all very personal and very unique to each individual pursuing their own version of happiness and satisfaction.  I do know though that is so easy to look around and see what everyone else is doing and it can cause us to sometimes operate from a place of “what’s wrong with me? (WWWM)”

It’s the adult form of peer pressure.  For example, if everyone around you is getting married, thoughts of “What’s wrong with me that I’m so single” come and then you start to ask your grandma if she knows any single boys in Southern California.  It could be anything, there are several triggers in daily life that you must be aware of.  I remember my commute to work one morning I was listening to Kevin & Bean on KROQ.  The topic was about living at home.  Kevin & Bean were not very nice about the people who shared that they were living at home.  They proudly boasted that they were making it out on their own in their twenties and that it was hard times but they made it.  I laughed and like that boy in the youtube video on his first day of school my laugh turned into a sob.

As someone who was living at home, I was slightly embarrassed.  I felt like they were talking about me and I was starting to get those WWWM thoughts.  But the truth is, nothing is wrong with me.  I wouldn’t trade these moments of living at home for a nice private studio on Laguna Beach.  My favorite part of my day is when I open the garage and see my yellow labrador run up to me and give me kisses and strut in circles around me.  I love watching Fresh Off the Boat on Tuesdays as a family. Just yesterday, I cried with laughter when my mom and I put on facial masks and scared my dad. But let me tell you, the day I put my car in park at work after listening to Kevin & Bean I was very close to having a stranger craigslist roommate the very same night.  Kevin and Bean do not know me, they were not talking about me, but their conversation affected me personally and I almost changed a big part of my life because of the minute and a half they had of my time.

The purpose of this post is to be mindful of all the things in this world that are inadvertently pointing at “what’s wrong with you” and to shut it down quick.  Nothing is wrong with you.  Paths look different.  Journeys are unique and not one size fits all.  You know who you are and what you love and what you’re about.  Don’t rush into marriage, don’t rush into signing a lease, don’t rush into anything because you think that’s what you SHOULD be doing.

One of my all time, most favorite things my dad has said to me EVER is this: “You don’t do something because other people think it’s the right thing to do. You do things because you think it’s the right thing to do.”

You are exactly where you need to be. And nothing, NOTHING is wrong with you.

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how to know what is or isn’t working

“In order to know what is or isn’t working, you should conduct tests. Don’t assume!”
I was at a Fundraising training today when suddenly this slide popped up and for some reason I found it to be extremely profound on how to live my life right now.
Conduct tests! Don’t know if it will work? Try it! You’re young, why not now? If you’re like me, you know what it feels like to be paralyzed with fear that you don’t even make a decision.  Maybe great opportunities come up for you and you are so busy wondering if it’s “right” to take the opportunity that you miss it.  Or you focus so much on making “no wrong decisions”, which is great and important, but you cannot always make the right decisions.  As much as you try, you will make mistakes. We’re human and that’s how we’re wired. And if you didn’t make ANY mistakes in  your life it’ll eventually catch up to you, as highlighted in How I Met Your Mother.
Lily: Okay, yes, it’s a mistake. I know it’s a mistake. But there are certain things in life where you know it’s a mistake but you don’t really know it’s a mistake because the only way to really know it’s a mistake is to make the mistake, and look back, and say, “Yep. That was a mistake.” So, really, the bigger mistake would be to not make the mistake, because then you go your whole life not really knowing if something is a mistake or not. And, damn it, I’ve made no mistakes! I’ve done all of this– my life, my relationship, my career– mistake-free. Does any of this make sense to you?
Failure can be a great indicator of what is successful. I don’t get why we’re so afraid of failure.  Failure determines what works and what doesn’t work. In the fundraising training, they were explaining that a coworker suggested sending mail in a bigger, invitation style envelope instead of a standard, regular envelope.  They didn’t know if that would work so they tried. It ended up that the bigger, invitation style envelope failed miserably. Which is great! Because now they knew that the standard business envelope works.  Do the same thing with your life. Trial & Error your twenty somethings.
What really matters is that we make decisions.  And that we don’t just let life happen to us. My dear friend Tae told me this when I expressed that I feel so uncertain and so afraid of making the wrong choices with love, career, life.  She said “You know, you have to make the wrong decisions. Some of your decisions have to be wrong so you can learn from it.  Making a decision is more important than making a wrong decision.”
So remember what the powerpoint slide said: “In order to know what is or isn’t working, you should conduct tests. Don’t assume!”
Basically this is saying what every mother has told us when we were presented with something new and sort of strange for dinner. “You won’t know until you try it!”